Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Tuesday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has been hailed as game-changer in the beginning, is changing the game of those who were evading taxes, indicating that under the new tax regime, tax evasion has been made impossible. Hasmukh Adhia, while speaking at the Foreign Trade Policy midterm review event, said that the biggest beneficiary of the GST is going to be exporters.
He further said that when the government realised problems being faced by exporters, the government immediately allowed facilities that were available in the pre-GST era, adding that the problem of GST refund was unnecessarily hyped. Hasmukh Adhia also explained how to file refund at the event. The Finance Secretary also announced Rs 8,500 crore extra monetary benefit to exporters in this review. He said, “Interim measures to increase the incentive to labour-intensive sectors by 2% will help overcome challenges posed by lower of duty drawback rates.”
Aiming to nearly double India’s exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020, the government had announced several incentives in the five-year Foreign Trade Policy for exporters and units in the Special Economic Zones in April 2015. The midterm review of Foreign Trade Policy was postponed from July 1 to December to assess the impact of the GST on foreign trade.
Unveiling the first trade policy of the NDA government, the then Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the FTP (2015-20) will introduce Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) to boost outward shipments.
Besides, the government also proposed a higher level of incentives for export of agriculture products under FTP. The FTP also sought to establish an Export Promotion Mission to provide an institutional framework to work with State Governments to boost India’s exports. The government also aimed to promote and boost export of defence goods.